- It's Okay to be Different by Todd Parr
- Graded white egg
- Graded brown egg
- Two bowls
Purpose: The purpose of this lesson is to teach students that despite the
way people look on the outside they are the same inside. The students will
be able to identify with students that look different from them but who have many things in common.
Research: "Multicultural education is a progressive approach for
transforming education that holistically critiques and addresses current
shortcomings, failings, and discriminatory practices in education. . .
Multicultural education acknowledges that schools are essential to laying
the foundation for the transformation of society and the elimination of
oppression and injustice." (Paul Gorski 2000). It is important for teachers
today to encourage a classroom environment that is anti-biased and free from racism and prejudice, from both the students and the teacher. This lesson encourages students to look beyond the outside of a person and focus more on who the person is on the inside.
Activity 1/Before Reading: Ask the students what "the same" and "different"
mean to activate prior knowledge. Ask several students who are wearing the
same color to come stand at the front of the room. Ask students what is
"the same" about these students. Their responses can vary from, "Both are
wearing jeans" to "they both have black hair". Then ask the class what is
"different" about these students. Student responses will vary. Write student responses on a pre-made Venn diagram. Have the children look at the cover of the book It's Okay to be Different. Ask the children what they think the book will be about.
Activity 2/ During Reading: Begin reading the book, It's Okay to be
Different by Todd Parr. During reading allow for student comments and
questions about the illustrations and text in the book.
Activity 3/After Reading: Present the class with a brown egg and a white egg in bowls. Allow the class to touch the egg and feel the weight and texture of the egg. Allow for plenty of exploration time with the two eggs. Student responses can be written on a dry erase board. When the class has observed the eggs ask them what they think the eggs will look like on the inside. Crack the eggs open into the bowls and explain to the students that, "even though the eggs look different on the outside they are the same as you and me". Further explanation of how people are the same can follow this.
Extension Activity 1: Have the students create a mask based on their "true
color"-- skin color paints are needed for this. When the activity is
finished students can hold their masks over their faces and the teacher can
take a class picture.
Extension Activity 2: Have the students dictate responses to the question,
"What did you think the different colored eggs look like on the inside
before we broke them open?" on a sentence strip and have students draw pictures as a reflection on the lesson. They can include other things that are the same that look different.
Special thanks to Dr. O'Neal for the suggestions